Pavel Haas Study Day

Pavel Haas Study Day

Saturday, 30th January 2016

Cardiff University, School of Music

Keynote speaker: Prof Michael Beckerman (New York University)

Sponsors: Royal Musical Association, Music & Letters TrustDvořák Society, and Cardiff University, School of Music

Pavel Haas Study Day is the first international conference focusing specifically on the life and work of the Czech composer Pavel Haas (1899–1944). In Haas’s case, a number of factors conspired to push the music of a highly accomplished artist to the verge of oblivion. As a student of Leoš Janáček and a life-long resident of Brno (Moravia), Haas has been marginalised in the dominantly Prago-centric historiographical accounts of Czech music. During the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia, the composer was banned from performance, imprisoned and killed due to his Jewish origins. In the following communist era, his music was passed over in silence, apparently for the same reason. Since the 1990s, Haas’s music has been finding its way on to international concert stages, although the main body of his output, which engages in fascinating ways with inter-war avant-garde movements in Czechoslovakia and beyond, risks being overshadowed by Haas’s association with the Holocaust.

 

The purpose of the Pavel Haas Study Day is to stimulate critical discussion about Haas’s work, bringing together scholars, performers, enthusiasts, and representatives of relevant societies. The speakers will include Prof Michael Beckerman (New York University), a renowned specialist on Czech music, director and scenographer Prof Pamela Howard (Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama), composer and musicologist Mgr. Aleš Březina (Bohuslav Martinů Institute, Prague, Czech Republic), theatre scholar Prof Pavel Drábek (University of Hull), film specialist Dr Milan Hain (Palacký University, Olomouc, CR), art historian Dr Helena Maňasová-Hradská (Masaryk University, Brno, CR), as well as PhD candidates of musicology Jory Debenham (Lancaster University), Miloš Zapletal (Masaryk University), and Martin Čurda (Cardiff University). A complete programme of the day will be published shortly. Check for updates on the following websites:

http://sites.cardiff.ac.uk/events/view/pavel-haas-study-day/

The conference is accompanied by the performance of Haas’s String Quartet No. 2, ‘From the Monkey Mountains’ (1925) and String Quartet No. 3 (1937–38), played by the Graffe Quartet (Brno, Czech Republic) with a researched-based commentary by Martin Čurda. The event is organised in conjunction with the IMR Study Day: Inter-War Avant-Garde Discourse across National and Disciplinary Borders, which is to take place at the same venue on the following day (Sunday, 31st January 2016). The two study days are complementary in focus: while the one draws attention to the work of a specific composer, the other is concerned with the broader theoretical and critical discourse.

CALL FOR DELEGATES

Places at the conference can be booked online through the following link:

https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/date/219241

Bookings should be made no later than Friday 15 January 2015. The registration fee (£7.50 / £11.50 + 10% booking fee) includes buffet lunch, refreshments, and a complimentary ticket to the evening concert.

Those who only wish to attend the concert can book their tickets through the link below:

http://concerts.cardiff.ac.uk/events/international-quartet-series-graffe-quartet/

Conference delegates should also e-mail Martin Čurda (CurdaM@cardiff.ac.uk) with the following information:

  • Title, name, and institutional affiliation (to appear on the conference badge)

  • Dietary requirements

  • Requirements concerning health and disability (if applicable)

  • Interest to attend the IMR ‘Avant-Garde’ Study Day (on the following day)

The organisers cannot provide accommodation, but there are a number of hotels within walking distance from the conference venue. Participants are advised to book their accommodation as early possible to avoid potential problems with room availability.


[original CFP follows]

Saturday, 30th January 2016

Cardiff University, School of Music

Pavel Haas Study Day takes place on the occasion of the performance of Pavel Haas’s String Quartet No. 2, ‘From the Monkey Mountains’ (1925) and String Quartet No. 3 (1937–38), played by the Graffe Quartet (Brno, Czech Republic) and accompanied by researched-based commentary by Mgr. Martin Čurda (Cardiff University).

The keynote address will be delivered by Prof Michael Beckerman (New York University).

In the case of Pavel Haas (1899–1944) a number of factors conspired to push the music of a highly accomplished composer to the verge of oblivion. As a student of Leoš Janáček and a life-long resident of Brno (Moravia), Haas has been marginalised in the dominantly Prago-centric historiographical accounts of Czech music. During the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia, the composer was banned from performance, imprisoned and killed due to his Jewish origins. In the following communist era, his music was passed over in silence, apparently for the same reason. Since the 1990s, Haas’s music has been slowly finding its way on to international concert stages, although the main body of his output, which engages in fascinating ways with inter-war avant-garde movements in Czechoslovakia and beyond, risks being overshadowed by Haas’s association with the Holocaust.

The purpose of the Pavel Haas Study Day is to stimulate critical discussion about Haas’s work, bringing together individual scholars, performers, enthusiasts, and representatives of relevant professional societies and research groups. The long-term goals of this discussion are: to raise awareness of Haas’s music; to enhance its understanding and appreciation by placing it in a varied inter-disciplinary context, from which it has so far been excluded; and to establish for the first time an international network of scholars working on Haas and Czech music more generally in order to reinvigorate this field.

To facilitate these objectives, the event takes place in conjunction with the IMR Study Day: Inter-War Avant-Garde Discourse across National and Disciplinary Borders, which is to take place at the same venue on the following day (Sunday, 31st January 2016). Although this is by no means a requirement, participants are encouraged to attend both events, which are complementary in focus. Whereas the one will draw attention to the work of a specific composer, the other will be concerned with the broader theoretical and critical discourse. The conjunction of both events promises a mutually beneficial encounter between the work of a ‘marginal’ composer and a diverse audience of experts, as well as exciting networking opportunities.

Pavel Haas Study Day is sponsored by the Royal Musical Association, the Music & Letters Trust, and Cardiff University’s School of Music.

CALL FOR PAPERS:

Individual 20-minute presentations are invited on themes that may include but are not limited to the following:

  • Janáček’s students and the problem of a Moravian compositional tradition

  • Moravian affiliations in Czechoslovak avant-garde music, arts, and culture

  • Haas’s music in the context of Nazi occupation

  • Haas’s music in the context of Czechoslovak and European avant-garde movements

  • Pavel Haas and musical historiography

  • Analytical and hermeneutical approaches to Haas’s music

  • Haas’s music in performance and concert life

One session of the day will be dedicated to the opera Charlatan (premiered 1938), an enigmatic work full of fantastic imagery, disturbingly resonating with the approaching threat of the Holocaust. The panel will include Prof John Tyrrell, a renowned specialist on Czech opera, the director and scenographer Prof Pamela Howard (Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama), and Czech theatre scholar and translator of the Charlatan, Prof Pavel Drabek (University of Hull).

Enquiries, expressions of interest, or abstracts (up to 250 words) are to be sent to Martin Čurda (CurdaM@cardiff.ac.uk) by Monday, 30 November 2015.

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